Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Misreading Pakistan; Attacking Annapolis; Reinterpreting the Syria Airstrike; One Jerusalem, and mor

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The Neocons on Pakistan: Neat, Simple, and Dangerously Naïve
Analysis by Najum Mushtaq

Writers like Frederick Kagan, Michael O’Hanlon, Charles Krauthammer, and John Bolton have been wringing their hands over what to do about Pakistan, offering risible suggestions about how the U.S. military could intervene and naïvely arguing that the Pakistani military is a force for "Westernization" and stability. Failing to learn the lessons of the Reagan era, which saw the military fall under the influence of Islamists, these neoconservatives ignore the fact that under leaders like Gen. Pervez Musharraf minority extremists have gained prominence. Instituting democracy and a culture of civilian supremacy will take decades of uninterrupted electoral exercise and peaceful transitions of power. But the alternative to this—in the name of stability, antiterrorism, and nuclear safekeeping—would spell disaster for Pakistan as well as for global security. Read full story.

Attacking Annapolis
By Jim Lobe

In the run-up to this week’s Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Annapolis, the regular suspects at outfits like AEI and Freedom’s Watch have criticized U.S. and Israeli leaders for supporting the talks. Read full story.


One Jerusalem
Led by Natan Sharansky, Benjamin Netanyahu, and others, One Jerusalem, a Likud-aligned group based in New York City, has worked to push back Mideast peace proposals, including the recent Annapolis talks.

Dov Zakheim
Zakheim was an integral part of the team that shaped Bush administration foreign and defense policies; for three years as Pentagon Comptroller, he oversaw U.S. military spending during the early stages of the "war on terror."

Ahmed Chalabi
Chalabi, the infamous Iraqi exile close to neoconservatives who was accused of providing false intelligence about the regime of Saddam Hussein, has re-emerged as head of a key Iraqi government agency charged with providing services in Baghdad.

Thomas Donnelly
Donnelly, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has argued since 9/11 that the greatest threat facing America and the world is what he terms "revolutionary Islam."


The Reality of the Raid
By Gareth Porter

The peculiar September Israeli air strike against Syria is now being recognized as a joint warning message to Iran from Israel and the United States. Read full story.

Not "What," Just "Who"
By Khody Akhavi

The political crisis in Pakistan has put a glaring spotlight on the Bush administration’s flawed strategies to combat nuclear weapons proliferation. Read full story.


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Featured Profiles

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

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From the Wires

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Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

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North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

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It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.